Social media is an appropriate venue that you can use for promoting and marketing your products. Normally, social media will center your interactions on potential customers, colleagues and current customers. Although social media has enormous potential in helping you market your products, the role it plays depends both on your business and the ability of the particular social media platform to fit your business needs. It will also depend on the appropriateness of your efforts in social media marketing. To begin with, you must note the best and the worst practices of social media marketing. Having the knowledge will equip you with appropriate cue in choosing what to do and what not to do during your marketing practices using social media.
Best Practices in Social Media Marketing
- At the start, begin within a clear plan rather than specific tactics. Most importantly, begin by researching and building a roadmap that will involve your objectives, target audience, tactics, a marketing strategy, metrics and tools or technology.
- In order to get appropriate response, you have to participate. Programs that lead to successful social media marketing involve active participation and listening. Make it a matter of principle to always give value first before receiving anything in return. Social media marketing is not actual selling although companies are increasing their sales through the media.
- To succeed with social media marketing, be willing to commit your time and resources. I recommend you focus sufficient amount of labor hours with the intention of succeeding rather than simply experimenting. If your efforts succeed, it will be necessary to anticipate scalability, which should be included in the plan.
- Make your identity and intentions clear. Failure to be transparent with your dealings will alienate your audience, which will derail the intention to connect with them. Investigate the community in the social media platform to determine the most appropriate messages that you will be passing across. To make your intentions transparent, it suffices to state your purpose clearly. Moreover, your participation should not attempt to make direct sales, but should provide value to facilitate sales.
- Know that you cannot control messages in the social media domain. Social media marketing differs from advertising, where the advertiser normally controls the message. In the area of social media marketing, unlike advertising, once the information becomes available, people will reshape, stretch and mash it up according to their individual interests. Your brands, therefore, will have to safeguard their copyright, identity and intellectual property. In social media marketing, you should actually acknowledge and encourage the creativity and mash up by the community. The greatest goal should be to come up with some information likely to work positively for you.
What to Avoid in social Media Marketing
- Avoid faking anything about your firm and products. Learn from the mistakes of other companies whose initial attempts at social media marketing failed due to distribution of fake or untrue information.
- Not listening to the social media community. Use the available online monitoring tools to monitor conversations and sentiments about your brands then identify the most influential.
- Being oblivious to unwritten and formal social rules. Most importantly you should first take your time and understand guidelines and terms of service. Further, you are to adapt to the general behavior of the community, which can effectively be done through observation and participation. Ignoring the protocol may alienate you from the community, therefore, failing your marketing attempts.
There are many social media networks that you should use in your marketing. I explore the most popular ones here. Once you are up and running with these, you will be in a position to extend to the other social media networks that are appropriate to your business.
Social Media Marketing through YouTube
Using video in marketing can help in achieving successful interaction with potential customers. However, the important thing is to correctly position your message so as to attract more customers and not chase them away. The videos you upload on YouTube should provide customers with value and sufficient interaction to attain effectiveness as a marketing tool. To assist you in understanding the value YouTube holds for your business, consider that by 2008, approximately seventy thousand videos were being uploaded on YouTube each month. The uploading was growing at more than twenty percent each month. Moreover, over seventy five percent of internet users take time to view online videos.
There are several categories, under which you can upload your videos on YouTube including film and animation, education, entertainment, autos and vehicles, comedy, science and technology, animals and pets, gaming and sports. Essentially, more than just uploading commercials about your services and products, you should target to interact with customers. You should therefore ask yourself the appropriate video post that customers would find interactive and valuable. In addition, YouTube has brand channels that enable firms to set up and brand their own page and house their videos as well.
This option is as good as advertising while at the same time retains the social media marketing concept. As is clearer now, if you use videos that create value and interactivity, you will have an audience of millions of users. However, your videos will compete with many others that are uploaded on daily basis and it will be upon you to appeal to the viewers.
Social Media Marketing through Facebook
You can make use of Facebook in acquiring new clients, promoting sales offers and new products and staying in touch with your current clients. You can also use the social media platform to build public relation about your business. To effectively market your business, you will need to understand two important tools: Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages. You can create your business profile using Facebook Pages, to give it an identity and strengthen the brand.
Potential and current customers can become fans of the page allowing them to receive the updates you post on the page. Every time a person becomes a fan to your page, the friends of that person see it hence it can attract more fans. You can also use the facebook page to post videos, photos and applications. Facebook groups are similar to Facebook Pages with the difference being that instead of being built around your brand or business, they are built on groups of people. You can use the groups in creating awareness. Group information is not shared to friends of the members.
Finally, there are other social media platforms that would facilitate effective marketing. Familiarizing yourself with these two will make it easier to use the others as well.